Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955)


German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and mid-length stories, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual.
Thomas Mann
Was it an intellectual consequence of this ‘rebirth,’ of this new dignity and rigor, that, at about the same time, his sense of beauty was observed to undergo an almost excessive resurgence, that his style took on the noble purity, simplicity and symmetry that were to set upon all his subsequent works that so evident and evidently intentional stamp of the classical master.
Mann quotes
Never had he felt the joy of the word more sweetly, never had he known so clearly that Eros dwells in language.
Mann
I admire the proud and cold who go adventuring on the paths of great and demoniac beauty, and scorn "man" — but I do not envy them. For if anything is capable of making a poet out of a man of letters, it is this plebeian love of mine for the human, living, and commonplace. All warmth, all goodness, all humor is born of it, and it almost seems to me as if it were that love itself, of which it is written that a man might speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and yet without it be no more than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.




Mann Thomas quotes
“Beer, tobacco, and music,” he went on. “Behold the Fatherland.”
Mann Thomas
It is not good when people no longer believe in war. Pretty soon they no longer believe in many other things which they absolutely must believe in if they are to be decent men.
Thomas Mann quotes
Only indifference is free. What is distinctive is never free, it is stamped with its own seal, conditioned and chained.
Thomas Mann
This music of yours. A manifestation of the highest energy — not at all abstract, but without an object, energy in a void, in pure ether — where else in the universe does such a thing appear? We Germans have taken over from philosophy the expression ‘in itself,’ we use it every day without much idea of the metaphysical. But here you have it, such music is energy itself, yet not as idea, rather in its actuality. I call your attention to the fact that is almost the definition of God. Imitatio Dei — I am surprised it is not forbidden.
Mann Thomas quotes
My aversion from music rests on political grounds.
Mann
Cruelty is one of the chief ingredients of love, and divided about equally between the sexes: cruelty of lust, ingratitude, callousness, maltreatment, domination. The same is true of the passive qualities, patience under suffering, even pleasure in ill usage.
Mann Thomas
Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state. Yes, it can even, in the twinkling of an eye, make something like a vagabond of the pedant and Philistine. Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.
Thomas Mann
Reduced to a miserable mass level, the level of a Hitler, German Romanticism broke out into hysterical barbarism.




Thomas Mann quotes
Opinions cannot survive if one has no chance to fight for them.
Thomas Mann
Analysis as an instrument of enlightenment and civilization is good, in so far as it shatters absurd convictions, acts as a solvent upon natural prejudices, and undermines authority; good, in other words, in that it sets free, refines, humanizes, makes slaves ripe for freedom. But it is bad, very bad, in so far as it stands in the way of action, cannot shape the vital forces, maims life at its roots. Analysis can be a very unappetizing affair, as much so as death.
Mann quotes
With astonishment Aschenbach noticed that the boy was entirely beautiful. His countenance, pale and gracefully reserved, was surrounded by ringlets of honey-colored hair, and with its straight nose, its enchanting mouth, its expression of sweet and divine gravity, it recalled Greek sculpture of the noblest period.
Mann Thomas
The intellect longs for the delights of the non-intellect, that which is alive and beautiful dans sa stupidité.
Mann Thomas quotes
I have an epic, not a dramatic nature. My disposition and my desires call for peace to spin my thread, for a steady rhythm in life and art.
Thomas Mann
Politics has been called the “art of the possible,” and it actually is a realm akin to art insofar as, like art, it occupies a creatively mediating position between spirit and life, the idea and reality.
Thomas Mann quotes
Love stands opposed to death. It is love, not reason, that is stronger than death. Only love, not reason, gives kind thoughts.
Thomas Mann
Absolutely everything beloved and cherished of the bourgeoisie, the conservative, the cowardly, and the impotent — the State, family life, secular art and science — was consciously or unconsciously hostile to the religious idea, to the Church, whose innate tendency and permanent aim was the dissolution of all existing worldly orders, and the reconstitution of society after the model of the ideal, the communistic City of God.
Mann Thomas
But he would “stay the course” — it was his favorite motto.


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